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"THE COOK'S SHELF"--fill your kitchen library with cookbooks good enough to eat!

THE COOK'S SHELF--the well-stocked kitchen library 

by Virginia Campbell    


 All You Need to Make Great Food -- With 1,000 Photos

How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food -- With 1,000 Photos by Mark Bittman
5.0 out of 5 stars superbly simple

Whether you are a kitchen novice, or a seasoned chef in need of a restart, you will be delighted by Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything-The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food"! Both enlightening and elegant in its simplicity, this book does not overwhelm with too much "stuff". Instead, it lets the innate natural goodness of food ingredients combine with useful, useable utensils and soothingly successful cooking techniques. The results: brand new basics that are a blend of the familiar and the newly discovered. The photography is "at your table fresh"--offering a clear look at ingredients, preparation techniques, and the finished product. Mark Bittman's goal is to state the case for the many essential and appealing benefits of home cooking. He wants to make you want to be a cook. This fabulous resource for foodies offers no intimidation--just encouragement and enticement. My favorite book sections--other than the irresistible recipes--were "Building Flavor" and "Techniques". Both of these sections highlight the benefits of making the most of the ingredients that you are using without overcomplicating the food. Speaking of food: "Quick Pickle Spears"; "Sweet Potato Fritters"; "Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon"; "Risotto with Butter and Parmesan"; "Skillet Pork Chops with Apples"; "Panfried Trout with Tartar Sauce"; "Blueberry Cobbler"; and "Coconut Layer Cake" are just a sampling of the overall user-friendly, yet sensational, recipes found in this wonderful cookbook. Do something good for yourself: cook your own food and enjoy the process. It's that simple. Highly recommended for foodies and cookbook addicts.

Review Copy Gratis Wiley Books    


 An A-to-Z Guide to 30 Types of Greens Plus More Than 120 Delicious Recipes 

Leafy Greens: An A-to-Z Guide to 30 Types of Greens Plus More Than 120 Delicious Recipes by Mark Bittman

5.0 out of 5 stars turning over a deliciously healthy new leaf 

"Leafy Greens: An A-to-Z Guide to 30 Types of Greens Plus More Than 120 Delicious Recipes by Mark Bittman" is as much a tutorial as it is a cookbook, and that is a very good thing. Adding a variety of greens to your diet is an easy way to receive a nutritional boost. Understanding the flavors and cooking properties of the many varieties of greens is what elevates the level of eating enjoyment. I was born and raised in the South, and greens cooked with ham hocks are a cultural favorite food. My Gran used to cook up a "mess of cress", and she also "wilted" fresh garden lettuce with vinegary-sweet hot bacon grease dressing. My grandfather was a natural master gardener, grower of the best tomatoes on earth. I have never tasted any salads as good as the ones made from our own fresh garden lettuce, tomatoes, and green onions, drizzled with Mama's "secret recipe" salad dressing! Mark Bittman shares his great love of "the green stuff" in an interesting, engaging, charmingly illustrated guidebook that will tempt you into trying new greens-themed dishes. To tempt your taste buds: "Soup of Greens, Beans, and Rice"; "Thai Beef Salad with Boston Lettuce"; "Gingered Cabbage"; "Turnip Greens with Potatoes"; "Swiss Chard Pie"; and "Corned Beef and Cabbage". Thirty shades of green never looked so good!

Review Copy Gratis Wiley Books     


 Irresistible Excuses to Indulge

Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge by Editors of Fine Cooking
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awesome! 

Chocolate is not just a food--it is a world unto itself! As if I needed an excuse, "Absolutely Chocolate: Irresistible Excuses to Indulge" from the Editors of Fine Cooking offers pure pleasure from page to page. Don't eat the book! Read, learn, give in to temptation, explore, experiment, and let chocolate do its magic and release those good brain chemicals! The process of how chocolate is made--from birth to bar, the types of chocolates and their uses, cocoa versus hard chocolate, cocoa content, and the proper techniques for cooking with various chocolates are all invaluable facts for serious chocoholics. All of those things get you ready to dive into the more than 125 chocolicious recipes! Reward yourself, and those you love, with terrific temptations like: "Mocha-Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies"; "Macadamia Double-Decker Brownie Bars"; "Brown Butter Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips"; "Chocolate-Espresso Pecan Pie"; "Bourbon-Chocolate Mousse"; "Chocolate Pavlova with Tangerine Cream"; "Triple-Chocolate Ice Cream Pie"; "Chocolate-Banana-Ginger Bread Pudding"; "Chocolate-Raspberry Truffles"; and "Bittersweet Chocolate-Rum Sauce". The recipes range from simple to more involved, but none of the recipes or required ingredients are out of reach for most cooks. Even chocolate lovers who don't cook will treasure this book--maybe even sleep with it under their pillow for the sweetest of dreams.

Review Copy Gratis Taunton Press    


 Your Guide to Choosing and Preparing the Season's Best

Fine Cooking in Season: Your Guide to Choosing and Preparing the Season's Best

by Editors of  Fine Cooking Magazine

5.0 out of 5 stars savor the flavors of each bountiful season 

"Fine Cooking In Season: Your Guide to Choosing and Preparing the Season's Best" is a truly fabulous find for foodies. The authors of this book discovered so many tasty treasures that they had to add a fifth season to the year. Your tasteful journey begins in Spring, and continues through Early Summer, Late Summer, Fall, and Winter. Each season has its own "color tab", and each food has its own variety of recipes. I loved the fact that each food has its own pages with beautiful color photos, recipes, "other ideas", and a "Did you know?" question and answer. Learning about food helps to open your mind to trying new foods, and that is a healthy option for both mind and body. Becoming knowledgeable in how to optimize the potential of the properties of each ingredient is a fun and inspiring way to add new life to food preparation. A reason to please in each season: "Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Bacon Tart"; "Fresh Peas with Lemon and Chives"; "Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes"; "Apricot-Raspberry Buckle"; "Cherry Mousse"; "Braised Fennel with Tomato, Green Olives, and Capers"; "Roasted Onion Stuffed with Prosciutto and Parmesan"; "Fig and Anise Ice Cream"; "Sun-Ripened Tomato and Black Olive Salad"; "Carrot and Coriander Soup"; "Wild Mushroom Risotto"; "Chocolate Nut-Upside Down Cake"; "Glazed Pork Roast with Carrots, Parsnips, and Pears"; "Brown-Butter Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips"; and "Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Orange-Brandy Sauce". Tempted? You should be!

Review Copy Gratis The Taunton Press    


 Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table 

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table by Tammy Algood

5.0 out of 5 stars a sure pick when you are in the market for cookbook treat 

One of a Southerner's favorite meals is a slice of juicy, ripe homegrown tomato on a fresh, hot butter biscuit! I could almost taste that biscuit and feel the butter and juice from the tomato on my chin as I read "Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight from the Garden to Your Dinner Table" by Tammy Algood. What a wonderful book! Beautifully produced on thick paper with colorful photos and helpful insights, this book is just the right size to be holdable and readable. As I write this in Spring, our Farmer's Markets here in the States will soon bloom with gorgeous produce and other seasonal offerings. However, at any given time, somewhere in the world, garden goodness is ripe for the picking and fruit orchards offer a bounty of delights. "Farm Fresh Southern Cooking" encourages you to go fresh, go local when possible, and go for the gusto of food prepared and served the way it was meant to be enjoyed! These recipes are literally a "return to the roots" of good food from good earth. I am not a great fan of black-eyed peas, but when I saw the photo and recipe for "Pea-Picking Salsa", I wanted to dip a pita chip right into that page! "Roasted Bacon Pecans"--heh-heh--pecan, butter, bacon, sugar, and salt--heh-heh!!! "Garden Vegetable Soup"--no meat at all--just gorgeous veggies and veggie stock, kicked up with added white wine. If I list all the marvelous ingredients in the "Sweet Potato and Shrimp Chowder", you might just start to cry from longing. "Hot Bacon Dressing over Wilted Greens" is an absolute Southern Classic--really! "Twice As Nice Corn Casserole" is so darn good, you must have at least two servings. "Parsnip and Tart Apple Puree"--a most perfect accompaniment to a pork main dish. "Baked Parmesan Catfish" will set your whiskers to twitching with its crusty, salty goodness. "Orchard Fresh Peach Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting"--have mercy! "Sweet Cherry Dessert Sauce" made with cherry brandy or liqueur--can you imagine the sinful goodness of this sauce on rich, dense, homemade vanilla ice cream! "Savory Zucchini Pie"--a crustless "quiche"--quick-mixed all in one bowl. "Summer Fruit Watermelon Smoothies"--fresh watermelon blended with ice, lime juice and raspberry sherbet--even just thinking about it is refreshing! Tammy Algood has written a delightful, delectable book that brings back many good memories to this Southerner's heart! "Farm Fresh Southern Cooking" is a sure pick when you are in the market for cookbook treat!

Review Copy Gratis Thomas Nelson Books   


 A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen by Frank DeCaro

5.0 out of 5 stars recipes & reflections, rollicking, rowdy, revelry 

If you are a foodie and film fan, then you will think you have died and gone to heaven when you read "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook"! Recipes and reflections are blended together with rollicking, rowdy, revelry, and a smashing time will be had by all! Author Frank DeCaro enlightens and entertains with facts and food finds from legendary stars of stage and screen, and the results are delicious. I love to sit down with a cup of coffee and read a cookbook. Since this book is filled with as many stories as it has recipes, it is one of the most readable and enjoyable cookbooks that I own. The chapters are categorized by the contributor's claim to fame, such as: "Musical Munchies"; "Sitcom Moms Really Cook"; "Dance This Mess Around"; and "A Feast of Funny Fellows". The skill level of the chefs ranges from kitchen-capable to titan of take-out, and the recipes run the realm between truly taste tempting to seriously strange and somewhat scary. Dom Deluise's "Doodlewoppers"--who knew?!? Just kidding--those "Doodlewoppers" sound like darn good cookies!!! "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook" is a decadent delight from cover to cover. The amazing range of recipes is as equally appealing as the royal roster of legendary luminaries from the world of entertainment. A "must have" for the kitchen library of true devotees of the silver screen and the silver palate.

Review Copy Gratis HCI Books 


 Cooking with America's Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans

Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America's Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans

by Kelly Kochendorfer

5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite, elemental, essential 

When we are growing up, we often don't see the value in the life lessons we are being taught by our parents and grandparents. We may be looking and listening, but still not comprehending. Sometimes, it takes maturity and similar experiences in our later years to really grasp the full meaning of their examples. My favorite Summer memories are of the times I spent with my grandparents working in our garden. My grandfather was a natural "master gardener". He grew the best tomatoes that I have ever tasted! One of a Southerner's favorite meals is a slice of juicy, ripe homegrown tomato on a fresh, hot butter biscuit! I used to love to help my grandfather plant the tomatoes. Dig a little hole, add some water, drop in the little plant, pat the dirt down, add a little water, repeat. On and on we went, row after row, until we were done. It was never work to me, it was just a special time shared with my grandfather. "Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America's Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans" is an expansive, enlightening encyclopedia of food producers and sellers, and those who create and serve food which sustains us body and soul. True foodies who love all aspects of food and food preparation will delight in the amazing stories, photos and recipes. Tempt your taste buds with these awesome dishes: "Smoky Pork & Apple Soup with Mustard"; "Halibut Poached in Pepper Butter with Roasted Corn Salad"; "Creme Fraiche Galette with Heirloom Tomatoes"; "Sweet Potatoes with Corn, Swiss Chard, and Caramelized Onions"; and "Honey-Mango Upside-Down Cake". Exquisite. Elemental. Essential.

Review Copy Gratis The Taunton Press    


 200 Delicious Recipes for Soul-Warming Meals

Fine Cooking Comfort Food: 200 Delicious Recipes for Soul-Warming Meals

by Editors of Fine Cooking Magazine

5.0 out of 5 stars soul-satisfying fare from soups through desserts 

What a lovely, lovely book with non-intimidating recipes that make the most of the clever combinations of ingredients. From simple to sensational, each dish is clearly defined in preparation techinques. Additional cooking tips and beautiful color photos are generously offered throughout the book. "Fine Cooking Comfort Food: 200 Delicious Recipes for Soups, Stews, Casseroles & More" is a fantastic offering from "Fine Cooking" magazine. If you are a well-seasoned cook, or a kitchen beginner wanting to expand your culinary repertoire, you will love this book! The soups and stews are sensational: "Root Vegetable & Barley Soup with Bacon"; "Thai Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup"; "Spicy Sausage, Escarole, & White Bean Stew", to name a few. There are three knockout meatloaf versions, including: "Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy". You will also find a tempting array of pasta dishes, sides, and veggies. Then there are the desserts, like "Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie"--oh, my! If you seek comfort and sustenance from well-flavored foods with moderate ease of preparation, and a range from savory to sweet, then you will be well-comforted indeed!

Review Copy Gratis The Taunton Press